Hooray for Football, pt.4

Posted in Life Sucks, Off Topic by DCroy on 12 October 2009

Mike Webster, the longtime Pittsburgh Steeler and one of the greatest players in N.F.L. history, ended his life a recluse, sleeping on the floor of the Pittsburgh Amtrak station. Another former Pittsburgh Steeler, Terry Long, drifted into chaos and killed himself four years ago by drinking antifreeze. Andre Waters, a former defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles, sank into depression and pleaded with his girlfriend—“I need help, somebody help me”—before shooting himself in the head.

Looks like Gladwell‘s getting his ideas* from this blog now. Or maybe I’m just part of the tipping point.

Idle Speculations:

    Originally Uploaded by Creativemonkey

    Originally Uploaded by Creativemonkey

  • Gladwell views head injury as implicit in the game of football, and I’m tempted to agree, but I also wonder how much helmets have to do with it. There is research showing that cyclists take more risks when they’re wearing helmets, feeling somewhat more immortal with the protection (anecdotally, I know I sure as shit do – at least until I frighten myself enough to take it easy). Which is not to say that cyclists shouldn’t wear helmets, just that it’s complicated.

    Watching Gladwell’s slide show, I wonder how much the head-on attack style comes from having such a convenient battering ram in the form of that hard plastic globe on top. Would there be as much injury if they were wearing the old leather helmets (okay, I just wanted to button up that cool image of the football player – I don’t really think they should go back to leather)?

  • That said, do rugby players (unhelmeted) suffer as many head injuries? I do not know. But helmets don’t help them, according to this study.

*Except with, you know, reporting and analysis and other stuff beyond my trademark lazy, blank ranting. By which I mean of course he isn’t getting his ideas here. But still. Hooray for football!


A World in Itself

Posted in Fortune Magazine by DCroy on 5 October 2009

This isn’t great. Good, but not great. I’m including it because it’s a nice variation on a script. The w especially is noteworthy. But other than that, let’s face it – who gives a shit about New Zealand? Though it would’ve been kind of fun to address a letter to “New Zealand Government” – the whole government – asking about pony treks and hotel amenities.

A tiny, sheep-filled world.

A tiny, sheep-filled world.

Hooray for Football, pt.3

Posted in Life Sucks, Off Topic by DCroy on 30 September 2009

I’d thought this was going to be a one-off rant, but the awesomeness of football is unstoppable.

It’s, of course, “everything that is wrong with America,” as one blogger put it. It kills children. And now it gives you Alzheimer’s.

You might think that’d be enough to doom an activity to the fringe subcultures lurking in the darker corners of craigslist, but add to that the actual experience of watching it (as reported by the fine journalists at Cracked) and it’s kind of amazing that we’d all watch (and love!) something so boring. Yes, it’s violent. We love violence. But other than that, what’s the appeal? That I do not know the answer makes me feel like an alien.

From cracked.com

From cracked.com

The Burgeoning American Douchebag

Posted in Fortune Magazine by DCroy on 22 September 2009
The Noir Douche

The Noir Douche

I do like the lettering, and love the noir look. But the dawn of the ID Bracelet Age seems a forerunner of some kind of nebulous post-war American arrogance. Which makes little to no sense. I can’t put my finger on it, but there is definitely some triangulation of the rise of identity bracelets and the decline of Western civilization.

No doubt in my mind.

The Andover

The Andover

Here’s the full ad. And I will say that at least Hadley was an innovator. I’m not sure what the deal was with Speidel Idents (remember that shit?).

Interestingly (somewhat) is how ’50’s this looks. We’re only at 1938, but the esthetic boundaries are definitely blurred.


Posted in Fortune Magazine by DCroy on 21 September 2009
Nicey nice.

Nicey nice.

Again the hand craftedness is what gets me. That calligraphy Spring, so simply and expressively conceptual, doing what lettering is supposed to do. And, of course, the rest of the headline. The jaunty R is particularly neat.

Ah to be sailing for Paris from New York in 1938.

Ah to be sailing for Paris from New York in 1938.

More info on french line ships here.


Posted in Fortune Magazine by DCroy on 17 September 2009

This Schick (Lady Schick, I think) ad was apparently done by the advertising firm of Ren & Stimpy.

This was during Hitlers rise - a portent of what was to come?

This was during Hitler's rise - a portent of what was to come?

A great example of how hand lettering can make a piece of typography click as a cohesive design within the larger design. Were this done with a typeface, I don’t think it’d look anywhere near as nice as it does here.

Cassandré’s Paradox

Posted in Fortune Magazine, graphic design by DCroy on 15 September 2009

Finally! More scannin’, less rantin’.

What is there to say about this amazing thing? It’s just plain amazing. I almost always hate it when graphic designers talk about themselves as artists. But this is art. Surreal, amazingly crafted, perfect typography.

And it’s for cardboard boxes.*

* Now part of a (formerly) 6 billion dollar conglomerate.

Hooray for Football

Posted in Uncategorized by DCroy on 12 September 2009

Okie dokey. Summer’s over, so I guess I should pick this thing back up. And because I’m too lazy to scan my Fortune just now, I’ll go with an update to something that I’ve mentioned before.

So, another child’s been killed by our beloved game. Yippidy dippidy doo. The most stunning quote to me is this one, by Boron High athletic director:

“It still hurts. Everyday we talk about it. We wear his number on our helmets.”

On the helmets worn during the game that killed him. I understand the impulse, but isn’t that – looked at another way – kind of horribly crass? Like memorializing a car crash victim with a bumper sticker?

Is there anything else that ends in the deaths of children that we rationalize so blithely? It’s just goddamn entertainment. We are the Romans, these kids are the lion food. Enjoy football season.

Zombie Mall

Posted in Off Topic by DCroy on 7 July 2009

I’m jammed with deadlines this week, so I probably won’t get to more Fortune until next week. In the meantime, here’s a zombie mall I found, outside Sacramento. Click the photo to go to a slideshow.

Troubling Signs at the State Capitol

Posted in graphic design, Life Sucks by DCroy on 2 July 2009

Difficult though it may be to believe, I really don’t want this web journal to be only a catalog of failure. But this is just ridiculous.

Bad Lieutenant (Governor)

Bad Lieutenant (Governor)

It may seem like I’m picking on a sign guy who’s just trying to do his job, but what irks me is that doing this correctly only takes about 3% more effort than doing it in the above ridiculously horrible way. I mean (warning, huge digression forthcoming), you have to wonder how it got to be so bad (and I’m not even going to start wondering why they chose Times – a typeface designed specifically for newsprint –  for signage, and moreover for the one place where, if they absolutely had to use a serif, they could’ve gone with the otherwise terribly overused Trajan, which is seen almost exclusively in print). If you think it’s a government job and has no accountability (the Socialist angle), then of course there’s no reason to care about the quality. Similarly, if you think that that 3% of extra effort is 3% that is not specifically earning more money (the Capitalist angle), then there’s of course no reason to care either. So why should anyone care? I’m not sure I know why – just that, for whatever reason, I do (end of huge digression).

But the funny part, to type dorks, is that it’s not even consistently bad (see the green E’s). And, even stranger, is that he got the N’s right, and I’ve made that mistake my damn self. Any way you look at it, it’s a conundrum.

A. As it is; B. Corrected spacing and orientation; C. Comparison

A. As it is; B. Corrected spacing and orientation; C. Comparison

Okay, no more critiques for awhile, I hope. After the 4th, it’s back to good ol’ Fortune. Have a great holiday.